28 January, 2010

I love working from home!!

Today is going to involve some running around so it is easier to use home as my base in that case. Tinkerbell has to get vetted for her stay at the boarding place. They have a button for a web cam on their site but I couldn't get it to work yesterday. It would be nice to be able to watch her interact with the other dogs while we are gone.

Again I opted for a movie rather than knitting. I think getting that lace monster done kind of took it out of me. Probably tonight I will work on the cashmere thing.

27 January, 2010

I am SUCH a scatterbrain!

This is the second time I've done this -- packed up my clothes for work and neglected to bring stockings! Today I'm going to have to spend the whole day in my biking clothes. I did change out of my sweaty shirt into my running shirt but otherwise ... here I sit. And I'm cold because it was very foggy out there this morning and chilly. I might have to change into my running pants as well just to warm up. Yes, I think I will do that as soon as I'm done here.

I found a kennel for Tinkerbell. It's called Bow-wow Fun Towne. It's a doggie day care place that also has a swimming pool for dogs and accepts a few dogs for boarding. I have to take her in for an introduction to make sure she gets along with the other dogs, which she will. Then I have to take her to the vet to get a shot and she's all set. I've only got a few more details to take care of.

No knitting last night. "Lost" is starting next week so they had an episode from last year to start bringing us up to speed. I assume they're have a big re-cap next week before the first episode. I hope, because I'm still a little sketchy about the details of last season.

26 January, 2010

Wraps are the rage

Isn't it funny how knitting -- or at least our Ravelry age knitting -- has its fads? For the past few months it's been increasingly about the wrap or shawl. I was looking at pictures from some knitterly function posted on Ravelry's blog and in every picture at least two women were wearing some type of lacy shawl-ette, bandanna style at their neck, or traditionally around the shoulders. Obviously I'm not immune from the current craze [although I never did succumb to the poncho craze so I must have SOME style sense] and now that my Frost Flowers Stole is an official FO, I started a bottom-up triangular lace pattern last night with the first of 5 balls of cashmere I have. The pattern calls for lace weight mohair but it is looking nice in the cashmere. I just went up three needle sizes to get a nice drape. The pattern is a very simple 8 row repeat, every even row a purl so only 4 different pattern rows. The tough part is that you can't use markers because it's not increasing at the spine of the garment, but on either edge. After a couple false starts I got going last night. I shall reserve judgment on if this is a sane way for me to go -- a lace project with no markers.

Mr. M was working a celebrity memorial yesterday evening and then attending a dinner for the VIPs afterward. I could have attended the dinner but I just hate those things and I didn't really know the deceased all that well having only met him and his wife once. I would have felt awkward and after a day of work I was not up to getting dressed up and driving all the way down there to be uncomfortable. There were a few cool people at Mr. M's table that I might have enjoyed talking to but, again, memorials are not my cup of tea. So I had a nice evening with Tinkerbell and turned in early to watch TV in bed.

I am finding it hard to concentrate at work. It's just a little over 2 weeks until we go on vacation and I'm looking forward to that. Things are going to be pretty busy up until then, too. This weekend we have a party Saturday night (after rehearsal ... gaah), and Sunday is Mr. M's birthday so we'll have to do something ... go out to dinner maybe. I told him that the vacation is his birthday present this year, so that makes it easy.

I heard from the passport office today that they have processed my name change and my new passport is on its way. Hooray, because we need to preregister on the cruise site at least 7 days before we board and they need the passport number. My only other thing to deal with is Tinkerbell. Mr. M's bookkeeper is going to house and Tink sit for only part of the time we are gone. I had a line on a nice girl who house and pet sits for some friends, but she is going to be gone to Hawaii the week we are gone, so now I need to look for a kennel to keep Tink Tuesday through Friday. That shouldn't be too hard. I'll get on it today.

25 January, 2010

I did it! I did it!!

Oh I can hardly believe it myself, but the Frost Flowers Stole is finished, blocked and dried! What a marathon weekend. I had about 10 rows to go on Saturday and really wanted to get it done this weekend but I wasn't entirely sure that was going to happen considering I had rehearsal Saturday night and a birthday party to attend Sunday evening. But after walking Tink I settled down Saturday at about 12:30 and started knitting. With a couple breaks to run upstairs to change out some laundry I knit until I had 20 minutes to get to rehearsal - 5:40. At that point I had four more rows of knitting to do and I SO wanted to finish it but I had to leave. So I quickly nuked some "Veggie Bites", threw them into a napkin, grabbed a bottle of water and my microphone and ran out the door. I was 10 minutes late to Doug's but .. hmmm .. I didn't see any of the other vehicles. I got to the door and there was Doug with a friend getting ready to walk out the door. He was surprised to see me -- no, no rehearsal because the bass player went to Boston. I didn't remember him saying he was going to Boston but that doesn't mean he didn't say it. So ... back home I went and plunked my butt back down in my comfy chair and tackled the last four rows. At a little after 10 that night I had the knitting finished. I knit the extra couple stitches to get it centered on the needles and put it down. Oh ... no I wanted to start grafting it right then but I thought better of it.

Sunday I had lots of errands and chores so I wasn't able to put half the stitches (238 to be exact) on a spare needle until about 2:30. I started Kitchner-ing the 476 stitches together but after an hour we had to leave for the party. We got back around 7 and I kept at it until I finished around 9:30. [I know ... I should have kept track of exactly how many hours this thing sucked from my life!] After weaving in the two ends I popped it into the washing machine (gotta love that hand wash cycle) and blocked it before falling into bed. And this morning it was all dried and looking fabulous. The seam is all but invisible. I was astonished at myself - I made it to the end without any extra stitches. I must say that I am very doubtful that I will ever again tackle such a project as "real" lace knitting. I much prefer the easier version with a rest row. This pattern on each and every row is really hard. I am pleased with the end product but I don't believe anyone who is not a knitter would know the difference.

I used my camera rather than my iPhone to take this photo this morning so I have it here and can finally post pictures of the coat I made for my sister in November. Unfortunately the picture doesn't show all of the nice lace and fully fashioned increases and decreases. It turned out very well and she loves it, although I think she might have preferred something more fitted. This is very versatile though and I think she'll wear it a lot.

Even though it's not raining I did drive in today, partly because I wanted to bring in my food and running clothes, camera, etc. Scatterbrained me, I realized half way to work that I had forgotten my running clothes. arghghghg I had such a great run on Friday I was really looking forward to today when I was going to run an hour. I guess that'll just have to wait until tomorrow and today, if it's not raining (because I forgot my umbrella as well) I will walk up to the LYS and look at yarn for the Great Gatsby Dress. Any excuse.

22 January, 2010

More light!

I have noticed lately that it is NOT pitch black at 5 pm and the sun is over the mountains by the time I get to the trail in the morning. Niccccceeee.

I biked in again today -- second day in a row. It's going to be lovely and sunny at lunchtime so I'm going to run as well. I suspect I'll be dragging my tail on the ride home, but I don't care. I am really looking forward to starting my regular running schedule again. I wish I hadn't bought those new shoes before the half-marathon. I really want Nike shoes so I can get the chip and use my iPhone and the Nike software. It is VERY cool. But I really can't justify buying another new pair of running shoes since I haven't even put twenty miles on these newer ones, plus which they are really pretty. Maybe I'll splurge this spring, if I can stay healthy and keep up with a good schedule.

No knitting to speak of last night. I watched a cute movie instead. I really do want to carve out some serious knitting time this weekend so I can knock out the Frost Flowers Shawl. Maybe it'll rain so I won't feel too guilty, because quite honestly I should really get out into the garden and start some clean up. I probably won't though, knowing me.

21 January, 2010

Old Tink video from September

videoShelley

I think I've got it figured out ....

kind of. For some unknown reason -- and I've Googled my fingers to the bone trying to find answers -- when iPhone first put MMS capability on our phones I was able to upload pictures and video, but that doesn't work any more. I have finally figured out that I can email and text message text, but if I want to post a picture (or video? don't know about that yet) then I need to use the iPhone app I put on yesterday. I doesn't make any sense that it did work and now it doesn't, and people are writing angry messages on the Blogger forums, but there has so far been no response from the Blogger team. Interesting .... I'm going to try to figure out the video thing today.

El Nino is doing its thing and it is absolutely spring-like today again. I could smell something blooming on the trail and at my house too. The ride in was wonderful and I even had to stop at 4 1/2 miles and take off my big gloves and put on my half gloves! In January!! I love it.

Yesterday my friend Monika performed yet another miracle and tinked back my Enchanting scarf to where I had goofed. I don't know why I can't see to do that. I don't mean that I need stronger contacts or a magnifying glass -- I mean that I can't visualize the loops [clear as mud?]. Thankfully she can and she got me back to a point where I could get back on track, so I worked on that for a couple hours last night while I was vegging out in front of the TV.

I am SO looking forward to vacation. The only fly in the ointment is my passport. I hadn't changed my name on it so after New Years I got a new picture and sent it off January 6th. They said allow 4-6 weeks to process. I need it in hand Thursday February 11. If I don't have it by next Thursday the 28th I'm going to have to contact them and request express service. I should have just done that in the first place. Oh well -- I won't panic just yet.

20 January, 2010

Another try at photo posting

Now I have an app. Let's see if I can get a photo in here.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

What's the deal with the iPhone and Blogger???

I posted a video taken from my iPhone in September. I know it worked because I looked at it from a couple different computers just to make sure it was running. And now when I go to the link it doesn't work and the picture I tried to post yesterday did not make it either! That is really annoying. I'm going to look into it further. It makes no sense that it used to work and now ... not.

I obviously never got around to posting from my laptop yesterday. The back is much better today. I think it's still a little touchy from the fall I took in December. I always seem to be on the brink of a spasm. Sleeping on my sister's very uncomfortable fold-out right after it happened I am sure did it no favors. I didn't ride in today. Thought it better to err on the side of caution, although I am just chomping at the bit to get out there and ride. It's lovely today as it was yesterday. I believe it hit 60 degrees yesterday. Very strange spring-like weather. Considering the winter we had last year I am not complaining at all!

I had a pretty decent long weekend. I had my little nephew on Saturday and we had fun taking Tink to the doggie park and playing video games. He is a very precocious 8 year old. He reads at the 5th grade level and has an amazing vocabulary and I forget how young he is. Twenty-four hours is plenty though, so I took him home Sunday morning and came home and watched some football playoff games. We are having our Super Bowl Party again this year and I am rooting for the Vikings because Brett Farvre is about the only quarterback of the teams left that I can get behind. It's always nice to have a team to root for, even if it isn't your own.

Monday was knitting day and I worked a lot on the Frost Flowers Stole. I brought it in for noon knitting today. I really really REALLY want to finish that thing off. I would like to bring it on the cruise with me, for one thing. And for another -- I'm just getting tired of it.

19 January, 2010

Tweaky back

I have got another back spasm!! I will have to get my laptop in here at some point this morning, but for now it is just me and the iPhone so I thought I would experiment. I used to be able to post pictures from my other AT&T phones using MMS but I can't seem to get it to work with this phone.

Too bad about my back. It looks like it is going to be a nice day and good for biking. It isn't raining.

15 January, 2010

Did you know ....

that there is a salsa version of "Clocks"? I heard it on the radio on the way in to work today and it is kick ass! I think it's better than the original version.

We had a really good rehearsal last night. Finally it's feeling that we're making progress and I've got a monitor system set up with headphones so my ears don't get blasted and I can hear myself. Both keys for improving. We have a date set for sure now - May 8. I don't really know what is going to be happening. I mean if it's just going to be a party or if he (Doug) is considering charging people. I hope it's just going to be a party. I hate to bug my friends to come see me and then expect them to pay for the privilege. That's kind of creepy.

I got lots of work done yesterday - mostly donkey work on the departmental site. My mood is always so much lighter when I can work from home in natural light. I also managed to get a row done on the Frost Flowers Stole before I had to run out the door to rehearsal. It looks like I've got 20 more rows to go. I have to keep reminding myself that each one is getting shorter. I am now about 40 minutes a row. I am going to block out time on Sunday AND Monday to put in some serious hours. I want this thing done! I am now almost completely committed to making the Gatsby Dress from IK summer '09. It's really more of a tunic than a dress, don't you think? My quandary is what yarn to use. It calls for Rowan RYC Silk Wool DK, which is a lovely yarn but I am feeling this more in a bamboo or cotton/linen blend. I haven't read any positive reviews of Knit Picks CotLin. I love the feel of bamboo and even though I sold the bamboo yarn I had before for the Flutter project, that was because of the color rather than the quality of the yarn. I am then leaning towards buying the bamboo. It does come in a gorgeous peacock blue. Well ... still thinking and searching. But I do believe I will make this before I do that cardigan. Maybe.

14 January, 2010

A little break in the rain

I am working from home today. I just couldn't stand being in the dark another day ... all day .... and it's been especially dark since it's been so rainy. Today it is a little better. It was not pouring when I woke up and I just took Tink for a little walk and managed to go 15 minutes before I had to put my hood up and hurry back. But that was nice. And I can ALMOST make out blue sky. Ah well still it's much better than most of the rest of the world. We have a visiting scientist from the UK who was supposed to come back to work over a week ago. His flight was canceled because, I assume, they weren't able to fly out of Heathrow. He has been re-scheduled twice. Poor guy.

I am not at all keen on violent movies, but last night we watched "Inglorious Basterds" - a Quentin Tarentino gore-fest. Except for that I thought it was good. Brad Pitt was rather amusing. I liked him also in "Burn After Reading". He seems to have a handle on the dummy character, doesn't he? Of course it gave me bad dreams but I have forgotten them already.

Rehearsal tonight - odd in that it's a week day but Rusty the drummer is going out of town for the long weekend and Doug is on a tear now that we have a goal gig. I don't mind. We'll start at six and I'll be home before 9:30.

I have to drive tomorrow because I have an appointment at 4, but I should be able to run again, which is really good. I am a little sore from running on Tuesday but not too bad. I'm excited to get back on a regular schedule. I can't remember when was the last time I really felt good when I was running. Must be way back in September, before I got sick. I want that back.

13 January, 2010

Here comes Wednesday ....

and no pains. Wow! I am SO lucky! All of the horror stories people have been telling me about getting rear-ended...... I have gotten off easy.

Yesterday during a short break in the rain I managed to get outside and have a run. The first one in ages and ages. I made it for the whole 30 minutes and it felt GREAT! I am just a teensie bit sore in my legs, which is to be expected. It's noon knitting today, but I will be able to get out there again tomorrow and have another go. I think I'm going to start going for an hour rather than just 30 minutes once I feel like I'm back in running shape. When I was training for the 1/2 marathon I did the hour run from here a few times and it is really not bad at all. I go from here down to the Fremont Bridge using the trail, then turn around and come back. It's flat and picturesque. Obviously I'm not going to be biking as much as I did when I only had 3 miles a leg. It's one thing to ride for 11 minutes in the rain and completely another when it's more like 40. And again today it was pouring rain when I got up, so it was the bus for me. If I up my mileage I won't feel like as much of a slug. Maybe I'll do two 60 minutes ones a week and 30 minutes on other non-riding days.

No knitting last night. At noon today I'm going to finish up that last hat - there are only a couple decrease rows to go - and work on the Enchanting scarf. Since it's tiny size 2 needles, it's not TV knitting at all. We have a long weekend coming up so I'm going to get my knitting projects organized on Sunday or Monday. With only about 25 rows to go on the Frost Flowers Stole, I should put that at the top of my list.

12 January, 2010

I seem to have dodged a bullet

I left work yesterday morning because I was not feeling too well after my little bump and everyone was urging me to go home and call the doctor. I did just that, and he told me that if I didn't have any sharp pains to just ice my aches and see how I felt. I think I must have braced myself with my left arm when I was hit because my elbow and shoulder were hurting. I brought my laptop to bed and did a little work and took it easy. After dinner I knit for a few minutes and read for the rest of the evening. I woke up today feeling great! I was expecting to be a lot sorer than I am. The doctor said Wednesday will be the worst of it but if today is any indication, I am out of the woods.

Of course it was/is pouring rain again so I rode the bus. ick ick ick If it had just been sprinkling I might have gotten on the bike, but no. By the time we got to the UW it was only lightly raining so I am optimistic that I can get out for a little run this afternoon. At least give it a go. I seem to have my wind back.

I am almost done with what I hope is my LAST hat for a while. This weekend I am going to take another look at the top down white angora sweater I had started before all the Christmas knitting and make a decision on whether I want to continue or rip it out and do a new sweater from the Winter Vogue. I think that the angora soft would work very well for this. And if not, I wouldn't mind making it from mohair. It's awfully cute, isn't it? I'm not all that keen on the turtle neck blouse under it ... but otherwise.

11 January, 2010

Rear-ended!

Although it was sunny and freakishly warm this weekend, I awoke to another downpour this morning. Friday had started off nice enough but by the time I left for home it was pouring and I got soaked. I didn't want to arrive at work that way, so I drove in. And as I was sitting at a stop light some woman ran into me with her SUV. My car didn't sustain any visible damage and I seem to be okay as well, although I'm feeling a bit queasy and my wrist hurts. I suspect I'm just going to have to wait and see how I feel later. I don't think I'm going to need to see the doctor though. I'm probably just queasy because of the jolt of adrenalin.

The weekend was pretty quiet. Saturday was so amazingly warm, it was spring-like. Quite a contrast to what some of my friends in Europe are going through. But I'm not complaining. After that nasty business last winter I am grateful for the warmer temperatures, although I'm not loving all this rain that much. I can stand arriving back home wet and soggy because I can hop right into the shower and put on dry clothes. Not so when I'm arriving at work. I'll bike in the sprinkles but when it's coming down like curtains, no thank you.

We had a good rehearsal Saturday night and Doug has decided that we're going to shoot for doing a show the second Saturday in May. That gives us a definite goal to plan for and that's a good thing, because Doug is kind of scattered, energy-wise. We're going to rehearse on Thursday night this week because the drummer is going out of town for the long weekend. That works out great for me because I promised my little nephew he could come stay at Shelley's Spa and Resort, but I was going to have to do it Friday. Now I can pick him up on Saturday instead and we'll have all day and evening to play. He's only 9 but he loves golfing, so if the weather is nice I may take him to the driving range. I bought him a junior set of golf clubs a little over a year ago. I'd love to see him use them.

Because my shoulder is still sore, I am guessing it's because of the non-stop knitting I was doing for Christmas. I did not knit this weekend (!! ... I know!) and instead bought some books and spent most of yesterday, after a lovely long walk around the lake, laying on the couch reading. It was a perfect use of a Sunday afternoon.

Now back to the real world. Fingers crossed I don't have any troubles from this accident.

07 January, 2010

I finally did it

I got back on the bicycle today and rode to work. Yesterday would have been a good day to do it but I had an early meeting and would have had to get up spot on time. Unfortunately I had pushed some odd button on my iHome dock alarm clock thingie and it got off the station. I didn't hear the static until it had been going for 45 minutes. So a quick dash through the shower and out the door I went, driving for a third day in a row. Ah .... but today was "normal" and off I went. It is chilly but it seems that we in the Pacific Northwest are the only ones in the country getting warmer than normal temperatures so even with the wind chill it was tolerable. I did quite well too -- only about 2 minutes off my normal 38 - 40 minute pace. I don't have all my breath back so it is going to be a challenge getting up the hills from the lake.

It was an unusually beautiful sunrise as well this morning. I should have stopped and taken a picture of the mountain and the pink sky but since I was a little late I didn't. Next time I will though. It is really breathtaking.

Work has been busy and hectic all week. I am hoping it will slow down a bit now today and tomorrow so I can catch my breath and clean up my office. I've been so tired when I get home. I didn't do anything last night except cook dinner and watch a movie. I knit on my Enchanting scarf at noon knitting yesterday and if I can take a real lunch hour today I may go over to the South Campus Hub, where there is lovely view of the Montlake Cut, and do a few rows. And if I put my mind to it I just may be able to finish up my Frost Flowers Stole this weekend. More likely that it will spill over into the following one though. I do have to rehearse this Saturday but otherwise I don't believe there is anything else on my plate.

05 January, 2010

Mystery solved

My work computer is up and running again. Thank goodness it was not infected with a virus, as the IT guy suggested. I am always VERY careful. So far my record is spotless in that regard. The culprit seems to be the network switch. I brought my laptop in just in case. I wouldn't have been heartbroken to have it be something worse. I love working from home. Especially this time of year. I am, of course, immensely grateful that I have a job, especially in light of the budget cuts that don't seem to ever end. However, as I have mentioned before, my office is a windowless box. Every single person without exception that has come to visit me in my "office" has made some comment on how depressing it is, and I couldn't agree more. Since there is not a speck of surplus in our budget for such frivolous things as painting and decor I am left with a yellow room, black shelving on 3/4 of the walls with the other 1/4 just the bare metal brackets. I had the shelves removed from that small portion so I didn't feel quite so claustrophobic and so that I could get to my desk and return without cracking my skull on a corner. The ceiling is high with exposed duct work and three of the ugliest light fixtures you can imagine. I remember last year I got very blue in the winter and the biggest reason, I firmly believe, is this closet. It's pitch black when I get up, dark when I leave for work and nearly dark when I leave for home and fully dark by the time I get there. My only sun exposure is my run and/or walk at lunchtime. Perhaps I can negotiate more telecommuting this winter. I have to learn to deal with it some way.

I did have a very good and productive day yesterday once I got home and could actually do some work. Luckily Mr. M was out at meetings so I had a nice quiet environment. His office is on the main floor and when I'm upstairs in my office I don't really hear him too much, except the phone ringing or if he has crews coming in and out. For the most part it's peaceful and time goes by pretty quickly. My new work laptop is working out fantastically from home. I can't believe I put up with that other one for so long without doing the switch. Having no choice, since it broke, I and kicking myself for not doing it last year.

I did only a little knitting on a hat for one of my nephews last night. I was very tired from the terrible night I had Monday. I got in bed early, watched a little TV and I believe I was asleep by 10. It was a great sleep! I feel pretty normal today.

The cruise is coming up in about six weeks so I've got to get the airline tickets booked, and a hotel for a few nights before we sail to visit with my sister and her boyfriend in Valencia. That's my carrot for the next six weeks.

04 January, 2010

And a happy new year to all

Ten years ago I was starting my adventure in Paris. It's hard to believe it's been ten whole years. My life is now defined by those six months and the consequences and friendships. Before Paris and After Paris. I do believe I'd give anything to be able to go back and re-live it. Of course if that were an option I also don't believe I'd do anything else. I'd be like Bill Murray in "Groundhog Day", only happy. Oh well -- as far as I know no one has built that machine yet.

NOT the most auspicious beginning for the year for me. As much as I wanted to get on my bike to ride in today, the rain was just thundering down. I would have been soaked to the skin before I got to the trail, so I drove in and I'm glad I did. My computer at work is not working. I spent nearly two hours trying to get something going. Our IT guy is going to have to work on it, so I got all my files together and came home. I would have been miserable trying to ride back home in soaking bike gear.

The holidays were okay. A little too hectic for my taste. The run up to the few days in California were brutal, the days down there great and the trip home a nightmare! And of course a house guest of the worst sort for the entire two weeks. After doing a big Christmas dinner, and then a dinner party for 8 on New Year's Eve I had to decline Mr. M's suggestion of having both of his kids over for dinner on Saturday. Honestly, I just couldn't take having my kitchen trashed another time, and the noise, plus I was on my last nerve with the boy. He took them out and I had a lovely evening ALONE with my doggie and my knitting and silly TV.

I did get some good knitting done on the stole. It is starting to look like something. I've only got about 25 rows left to go. And I don't think I'll be making another one of these. This lace knitting is very intense. I'll try to get some pictures up soon.